“I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” -attributed to Helen Keller.
A few weeks ago, I liked a post by my sister about the joy of marriage on social media. A few minutes later she messaged me a sweet message praying that it didn’t hurt for me to read it.
The reality is that hearing about new babies, weddings, happy marriages, perfect homes, healed relationships, and new jobs always makes me rejoice. I am always going to cheer for the prayers that are answered. I will cheer louder than anyone when I hear that your dreams are coming true. I pray daily for dreams to come true in the lives of everyone I know!
But at night when I climb into bed alone and reflect on the news of the day, there is always a twinge of sadness for all my dreams that did not come true. An ache for what was lost. Nine years has not made the ache of no more babies any easier. Five years has not made the loss of Ben go away either.
I cried to friends a few weeks ago about not wanting my heart to hurt about these things anymore. I told them I longed to be able to let the losses go and only rejoice in the good for others. And they reminded me it is okay to be sad about the loss of those dreams. Because they were BIG dreams.
I have spent a lot of time praying about that the last few weeks, and God has put people in my path who needed to be reminded that it is okay to grieve the losses if we don’t get stuck there. But the reality is, this has always been so much easier for me to recognize in others.
For some reason when it comes to my own losses, I always feel like I should push through. That enough time has passed that it should not hurt anymore. Like the secondary losses should not still cause pain 5 years later or even 9.
A few weeks ago as I laid in bed reflecting on this, I realized that while I want the pain to lessen (and it has) I do not want it to go away completely. To no longer feel a twinge of sadness that I didn’t get to have a 50+ year marriage like my grandparents, or a 25th wedding anniversary to the first man that I loved, would make it seem like those losses didn’t matter! And they do. Without the pain of loss, we wouldn’t get to know the beauty of good things.
There is room for both pain and joy in the same breath. There is room to be happy for one who is getting a baby while sad that your own dreams seem to be sitting silently by waiting for an answer. Friend, I get it. I may not have the same dream or desires as you, but I know what it is like to feel that your day will never come, that other people seem to be getting every good gift you thought would be yours…
But I believe that beautiful things are coming. That God will restore the years that the locust has eaten. And that the beauty to come is like nothing we could have ever imagined. I’m believing it for you, and I’m believing it for me. I’m cheering you on and praying that every dream you wish will come true!